Thursday, April 16, 2009

Collecting the Sox

People collect any number of things these days. Scour around enough and you’ll find collectors of spoons, teapots, saltshakers, and coke bottles. Just about anything will appeal to someone enough to start a collection. Naturally, that also applies to Red Sox collections. These days you can find just about anything with a Red Sox logo on it. It’s not difficult to find something Red Sox related for a person to collect. But, what to collect?

The first deciding factor is how much space you have. If you’re thinking of dedicating a 20’ x 20’ room to the collection, you have more options open than if you just plan on using the top of your dresser. Maybe the mini-bats would be a better fit than the full size models if space is a concern. Posters will need more display wall-space than baseballs. Price could also be a concern, but it’s more of a thing to work around than something to eliminate a choice. A box of Wheaties with a Red Sox player on it will run you about $3. A Ted Williams autographed bat will go at least 100 times as much. Now, obviously the cereal would be easier to fit into any sort of budget. But, if you’re willing to wait and build your collection slowly, saving up for the bat should be possible if it’s what you really want. The most important factor, of course, is whether or not you like the collection. Don’t collect something because your friend does. Don’t collect it because you think it will be worth money someday. Don’t collect something because you think you should. Collect it because you enjoy it. Collect it because you like the hunt. Collect it because your eyes light up when you find one.

There are a few subcategories that Red Sox items would fall into. There are souvenirs. These would be items that you purchase to remind you of something, like a game you went to. Usually these are things purchased during the trip, but can include things purchased after the fact. For instance, if you go to a game, you may buy a program at the park. If the game happens to be Jon Lester’s no-hitter, you can buy a newspaper the next day with coverage of the game, or an autographed photo of the game. They’d all fall under the souvenir range. There’s also memorabilia. Those would be things actually used, or touched, by a player. I’m including things like game used gloves and bases, as well as autographed pictures and balls in this area. Everything else, I throw into the collectables category. This is a catchall for things like statues, bobbleheads, magazines, books, bats, balls, pencils, spoons, cards, newspapers, cereal, and anything else with a Red Sox logo or Red Sox player on it.

Don’t worry about changing the focus of your collection either. When I was growing up, whenever I went somewhere, I usually got a pin/button from the location. After a while, these pins started to get more expensive, and I found it harder to display them. For a while, I kept at it because “I collect pins.” But, that’s silly. If I didn’t enjoy it, I would have been better off switching much sooner. Now, I sometimes get a pin, if that’s the best choice. But, it’s usually not. There’s nothing wrong with an evolving collection. It’s all about having fun. After all, there are plenty of options out there to explore.

What do you collect?

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